Shining example? Solar power boosts struggling Tunisian school

(Context, 17 Mar 2023) A solar-powered school in northern Tunisia shows how the country's lagging schools might be turned around - and renewables boosted.

A decade ago, the Makthar boarding school in northern Tunisia had little clean drinking water or heat, poor food and no electricity for its nearly 570 students.

But now solar water heaters ensure hot water for showers and solar panels produce enough electricity not only to power the school and three others nearby but to feed the national grid, providing a small income toward paying other school costs.

Lotfi Hamadi, a Tunisian entrepreneur who helped fund the renewable energy installations, hopes they can be expanded to more schools, making them more efficient to run and more conducive to learning - and curbing the country's precipitous dropout rate.

"I hope the successful experience of this school as a social enterprise can help save the deteriorating public school sector across Tunisia," the 46-year-old said in an interview.

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Context, 17 Mar 2023: Shining example? Solar power boosts struggling Tunisian school